Fambrough: Business as usual at LHSCA clinic

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be.

Many coaches who attended the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s annual Coaches Clinic last week are too young to remember actress Doris Day’s theme song. The demeanor of those attending the clinic spoke volumes without a word being said.

It was business as usual. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s first split football playoffs, scheduled for this fall, were not factored into an event or meeting.

The only time the topic was discussed was when someone asked about it. There was no fiery debate among the coaches charged with completing a football season that will end with nine football championship games — five for nonselect schools and four for select schools.

Whatever will be will be, seemed to be an unofficial mantra. Coaches were busy attending workshops, perusing sporting goods exhibits and going to meetings.

Discussion about what might happen this season or future ramifications of the split playoff plan were not a priority. The coaches made it clear that the 2013-14 seasons are their priority by their actions.

Not addressing what is arguably the biggest competitive change in the history of the LHSAA seems strange. As I watched the coaches hurry from one event to another, it all made sense.

Instead of looking at the big picture, nonselect vs. select, coaches are focused on what they can control, which is the season ahead, regardless of which side of the fence they’ll play on in the playoffs.

The debate between nonselect or traditional public schools and select or private, magnet, laboratory and some charter schools is sure to continue. The possibility of legal challenges to the split passed in January by LHSAA member principals does remain.

There also will be time to see what proposals end up on the agenda for the LHSAA principals to vote on in January 2014.

Some believe a move back to the previous unified playoff system is possible if the LHSAA passes legislation that curbs recruiting and other issues that forced the split vote. Others believe there will be a move to split the LHSAA in all sports.

Remember, legal challenges and proposed LHSAA legislation are things coaches and athletes can’t control. It’s now their time to reclaim high school athletics.

Que sera, sera.

Other LHSCA stuff

The hiring of Gary Duhe as the first full-time LHSCA
Director and resuming an East-West football all-star game format will have been immediate and a long-range impact on Louisiana’s coaches.

Duhe’s job will involve coordinating LHSCA membership, all-star games and four
LHSAA sports. More importantly, the longtime basketball coach is supposed to be the voice of Louisiana’s coaches in the LHSAA office.

It will be interesting to see how Duhe’s role evolves and impacts the current LHSAA dynamic, which is dominated by former administrators, including Executive Director Kenny Henderson.

An East-West football game can be a very good thing for the LHSCA. The coaches learned the hard way that maintaining an all-star game with another state is difficult at best.

And when that game is played in the summer, it’s darn near impossible.

Playing an East-West game the week after the football championships are played in December is ideal. Whether or not the game attracts Louisiana’s top players remains to be seen.

I hope the LHSAA and
LHSCA allow regional all-star games to continue during that same week. If the East-West game is Saturday in Shreveport, let others, like Baton Rouge’s U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl, play on Sunday, as organizers have proposed. It just makes sense.